Head coach Alan Kilshaw has confirmed his 21-man squad for Hunslet Rugby League club’s home friendly against Batley Bulldogs on Sunday (29 January, 3.00pm).
Every player will feature in the match, which is the Parksiders’ first of the year following the cancellation of last Sunday’s game against Halifax Panthers through a frozen pitch; Hunslet have arranged a home friendly with Salford Red Devils Reserves on Friday 3 February to replace the Halifax fixture.
The squad, which is unaltered from that named for the aborted Panthers game, is: Danny Barcoe, Jordan Bull, Joe Burton, Nathan Conroy, Steve Crossley, Harvey Hallas, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Michael Knowles, Kieron Lawton, Dan McGrath, Nathan Newbound, Morgan Punchard, Jack Render, Adam Ryder, Sam Hallas, Jake Sweeting, Jordan Syme, Tyler Walton, Jimmy Watson, Lewis Wray, Aaron York.
`Killer’ said: “The Halifax game being cancelled has made us adjust our thinking and approach for Sunday’s match, while adding the Salford fixture means we will be able to see everyone before we entertain Leeds Rhinos on Sunday 12 February in the Harry Jepson OBE Trophy clash.
“We have turned the Halifax cancellation into a positive with a harder week’s training, and all the lads are looking forward to some competitive action. Batley have been a top-four Championship side for the last few seasons, so we are aware of the challenge we’re presented with this Sunday. We are focussed on several outcomes that we want to achieve from the fixture.”
There will, meanwhile, be particular interest in the game for the Burton family. Hunslet’s Joe, who joined the Parksiders late last year from Bradford Bulls, could go head-to-head against his brother Oli, who enjoyed a productive spell loan spell at the South Leeds Stadium in 2022 before returning to his parent club Batley.
Joe, whose father Danny is one of Hunslet’s assistant coaches, said: “It will be a strange experience playing against Oli, although I don’t suppose we’ll be picking each other out. But I’ll be aiming to get the better of him for sure if I meet him while making carries out of defence, that’s what sibling rivalry is all about. We will, though, be the best of brothers after the match!”
He reflected: “We’ve pretty much a new look squad at Hunslet, with quite a few players such as myself coming in, and the spirit in the camp is high. The lads are coming together and we’re already watching each others’ backs. It’ll be good for us all, after the postponement of last Sunday’s game, to finally get out on the pitch.”